Her cunt was spicy, like cinnamon and royal amber perfume. She would never touch me there, the tip of her tongue to the sopping rainforest between my thighs. She might have, if I had asked her, pointed her in a southwardly direction, but I was passive when it came to my own needs.
We had nothing in common, Colette and I, and our parting was anything but amicable. Still, the memory of her barely budded breasts and nubile hips can still keep me awake at night.
I like to picture her at work, dancing in the goldfish bowl for men full of quarters and erections, masturbating onto their Armani suits, and me in my booth, holding a bouquet of roses, thorns still attached. When I imagine extra hard, I can still hear her calling out my name. Shrill and wispy, in a sing-song gasp. “Hannah. The waves inside her would threaten to crush my hand, to crack its delicate bones. Thinking about her this way always makes me feel like a dirty old man. Not that I have shame, but she was so young.
Colette was 18, too young for a 30 year old woman to be dating, but she was out on her own, and that was good enough for me. If it weren’t for that night I first saw her in the goldfish bowl, I might have never talked to her. She was dating a friend of mine who was 23, which was the main reason for my avoidance. Colette, weaver of webs, field of poison poppies, a manipulator and enchantress. I dodged her like disease. From across the room she could make me weak in the knees.
Behind the plexi-glass, she gyrated slowly, as if she were underwater, undulating her torso and hips in opposite directions, then stepped toward me, pointing her delicate purple toenails in my direction, rotating her ankle so her foot made a tantalizing circle around my face on the other side of the window. “You came. Colette smiled.
“Not yet. I lifted the bouquet farther into her view. “When can I see you? It was fun watching her dance, but the heavy, semen-scent of the booth was getting to me.
“I get off in half an hour. Think you can make it? She lifted her silky leg and separated the petals of herself before me. “Have to look like I’m working. She said as she touched her clit. Her eyes melted to syrup
I brought her cafÃ© au lait with lots of sugar. We went to her pay-by-the-day room in North Beach. On the way up the five flights of stairs to her drab, decaying door, I learned that she was unhappy with Chiam because he wouldn’t have sex with her.
“Do you mean, like, fucking or do you mean he won’t touch you down there at all? I was flabbergasted.
“At all. She said pointedly. Chiam was orthodox, and wanted to wait until marriage. “Besides, I don’t think I like boys that much.
Her room was a bottle of gin. Not usually my drink of choice, (to be truthful, I think it’s putrid stuff) but I was nervous and it was offered. I drank willingly. Colette told me that she and Chiam had an open relationship, that she slept with girls often and that he would understand. I knew this wasn’t true.
“Don’t fuck her. He had said earnestly, his eyes gleaming suspiciously at me over a steaming mug of green tea. “I mean it. She’s mine.
“I won’t, I assured him.
“Promise? He had said, his gaze relaxing. And I did.
I had promised, and yet here I was in Colette’s hotel room, drinking gin with her at 3:30 in the morning and plotting the way in which I would finally make my move. I was overanalyzing the situation in a hyperbolic sense, each of her movements, no matter how small, thoughtless, or involuntary, said something to me about my imminent success or failure.
I did it. She was talking about something and I had stopped listening. All I could do was watch her lips move. All I could do was think about touching them. I leaned forward and put my mouth on hers.
And it was like swimming, like diving into a vast lake and discovering the perfection of weightlessness. It was like we had been kissing forever, our tongues locked together, tasting one another. My hands moved over her, removed her thin t-shirt, tore off her baggy jeans. I wanted that thing I had seen in the goldfish bowl, that hot, dripping flower, that mouth with no teeth that would, a week later, swallow my entire hand. I wanted that thing and I wanted her breasts and I wanted to devour her as if she was warm cookies and milk and I was Santa Claus.
And I did. I sucked and bit my way to her cunt. I forgot about Chiam. I forgot that she was only 18. I forgot my promise.
Tiny red bite marks striped neat rows from her neck, over her breasts, and down her belly to the blooming lily below. I lost myself there, eyes closed and tongue crawling through mountains and ravines of soft flesh. She wasn’t the first woman I had slept with, by far, but she was the first to truly enjoy me. She sighed, moaned and screamed, ordering me not to stop. And my name. My name. It has never sounded so sweet as on her lips. “H-h-h-annaaaaah.
Chiam found out. First, there was hate mail, then the 3 a.m. phone calls, screaming that I had betrayed him, accusing me of not being a real Jew, and claiming I would be among the first to turn him in if the Nazis came back. While most of what he said was false, the first was true. I had betrayed him. And so I let him yell. And I felt bad. And I even cried. But I did not stop seeing Colette.
I tried. Once. I made a valiant attempt to cut off all communication with her, but soon she had me drinking gin in her room again, losing myself in her lips, breasts, and legs. Instead of cutting the sticky silk her spinnerettes bound me in, I gave in to the polydipsia. She was the only quencher.
We went on like this for several months, never really talking about much and me fucking her brains out. I remember trying to tell her that my mom had breast cancer and her trying to tell me about the VW engine she was rebuilding. Neither exchange led to anything except the two of us staring at each other awkwardly, wondering “Who the hell is this person?
Colette and I ended abruptly one night when she opened my private journal in front of me. “What the fuck are you doing? I smacked it out of her hand, then raised my hand to smack her, and caught myself. I picked up my journal and stormed out the shabby door, slamming it behind me so hard the wall threatened to crumble. That was the last time I saw her. I was free of her spell, with one less friend to talk to about it.
A year and a half later, Chiam still does not speak to me. I miss him sometimes. Sometimes I miss him a lot. But it was worth it, every second. That cinnamon and royal amber smell, the way she danced behind the glass, and especially the way she used to sigh my name, over and over again, letting the word push her young body over the top and into the ecstatic throws that are the female orgasm. “Hannah. Haaanah. Haanaaaaah.